How to stock your ‘dorm kitchen’ the cavalier daily

Ah orientees, so young, so innocent. I remember when I was in your shoes, assuming 150 plus dollars would last a whole semester and genuinely thinking that first O’Hill meal wasn’t so bad. Well trust me, you won’t stay this naïve for long. Before you know it you’ll be eating half of your meals on the Corner and the other half in your room. It’s just a fact of University first-year life. Hopefully after reading this article you will have a better idea of what you should buy to make sure your dorm kitchen can live up to its full potential.

What to microwave: Even if you never had oatmeal before college, I guarantee you will unenthusiastically eat it all the time by the end of first year. Oatmeal is reliable, fast and cheap and it beats those terrifying “scrambled eggs” at the dining hall.

A little cinnamon can make all the difference here, and if you’re feeling super fancy, you can add some craisins and nuts. Also soups that aren’t ramen — there are so many microwaveable soup options that are healthier and tastier than ramen. Just look in the organic section of your grocery store! It is also worth noting that the Annie’s Organic microwaveable mac and cheese is much better than Kraft Easy Mac. I was skeptical at first too, but you just have to trust me.

A mini-fridge: I suggest finding one with a freezer, you’ll thank yourself when you see the Halo Top selection at Crossroads. I would stay away from any sort of luxury fridge since chances are you will live in an apartment with a full size fridge next year, making an expensive mini-fridge a pointless investment. Most importantly, make a conscious effort to clean the fridge out every couple of weeks, strange smells thrive in dorms.

What to keep in the fridge: Greek yogurt is a great alternative to oatmeal in the morning and can also be a filling snack. Hummus is another healthy snack that can also be a meal if you’re desperate. Neither Crossroads nor CVS on the Corner sells hummus, so be sure to stock up when you go to the grocery store. I would also suggest buying pre-sliced cheese you can eat with crackers. It is common knowledge that college makes everyone lazier, and I cannot emphasize enough how grateful I am for all those times I didn’t have to go through the exhaustive process of finding a knife, cutting off a piece of cheese, washing the knife, etc. Exhausting!

A Keurig: Keurig’s are less expensive than many people think — you can find them for less than $100 and will seriously save your life if you are a coffee drinker. Not only is making the walk to a dining hall in February just for a cup of terrible coffee first thing in the morning something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, but you will also save lots of money drinking coffee in your room instead of buying it from Greenberry’s.

What to use in your Keurig: I am someone who definitely can taste the difference between different coffees, and I wholeheartedly recommend the Newman’s Own K-Cups. They are cheaper than the Starbucks K-Cups, taste better than Starbucks and a portion of the proceeds go to charity! Order your K-Cups on Amazon since they are non-perishable and will almost always be cheaper than a grocery store.

What kind of tea: If you need a pick me up but a full cup of coffee seems like a little too much caffeine, try Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice. It’s cinnamony in a way that can make you feel cozy even in the depths of Clem 1, and has a subtle sweetness without tasting artificial. Drink Nature’s Remedies Throat Coat when you have a sore throat or a cough, and since it’s completely herbal you can drink it before you go to bed.